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Richmond Wins Virginia in Astonishing Finish

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Richmond Wins Virginia in Astonishing Finish

Richmond vs Fort Hunt in Saturday's final. David Hughes photo.

The Richmond Strikers won the Rugby Virginia championship defeating Fort Hunt 45-39 Saturday.

This capped off a very good season for Richmond in which they love to play fast—a 45-39 scoreline is definitely a Strikers-like scoreline.

Richmond came into the final remembering that they had lost earlier in the season to Fort Hunt. Richmond Head Coach Todd Boykin said Fort Hunt's Head Coach Dale Roach "always has [his team] in peak form for playoffs."

In a physically demanding game punctuated by several injury stoppages, Fort Hunt took a 20-14 lead into the halftime break.

The teams continued to traded tries in the second half, but Fort Hunt seemed to be in control with a 39-24 with about six minutes to go.

Then Richmond prop Jackson Skarie powered through multiple defenders and rambled in from 20 meters out. Liam Albon, who had not missed a kick in the game, converted to make it 39-31.

Richmond pressured once again as time was expiring. Fort Hunt defended, but illegally and after a short officials' consult, Richmond got a penalty try. The result was, of course, no conversion made and thus still time for a kickoff. Score Fort Hunt 39 Richmond 38.

Richmond received the kick and did well to retain possession. They started working it phase-by-phase, working their way into Fort Hunt's half.

Finally they sent it wide to center Carson Martell, who busted a double tackle and broke through the Fort Hunt defense from 25 meters out to touch the ball down for the game-winner. Albon, who ended the game a perfect 6-for-6 from the tee, converted, and Richmond were state champions.

"We started the season with a championship as our goal, and we knew this was a real possibility," said Boykin. "The score started to get away from us, but the boys stayed steady, embraced the challenge, and prevailed."

This is Richmond's first ever Varsity state championship.